Tuesday, April 9, 2013


This is the Triple "T" Edition of Tuesday Tattler, as it is Tuesday Tattler TEN.  For this installment the tattler once again puts pressure on the Indiana Senate to VOTE NO on Voucher Expansion (HB 1003) and calls on public school advocates to focus on 10 specific Senators in making calls. 

WE CAN STILL DEFEAT HB1003 in the Senate
After passing two Senate committees last week, the voucher expansion bill (HB1003) did NOT come up for second reading Thursday. That means it has to get both second and third reading votes before the end of day this Wednesday.   Late this Monday afternoon, the senate began hearing amendments to HB 1003. Democrats offered one that would make a line-item for vouchers in the overall budget. This would allow for tracking the funding and also guarantee a certain amount for public education to have in its budget. This amendment was voted down by Republicans on a straight party line.
Remember: vouchers come out of the budget for public schools first and THEN the remaing moneis are distributed to public schools. It is important that all Senators hear from passionate public school advocates in the next 24 hours.  Lobbyists have been contacting Senators one by one, and your messages will add urgency. If we can defeat this bill in the Senate, we don't have to worry about battling it again in the House.
We most definitely CAN put an end to this fiasco that is robbing money from public schools and slow the destructive process current legislators seem hell bent on forcing onto our public schools.  For the most part, the overarching concern of those senators (all Republican) who are possibly waffling on this HB1003, is financial.  Remember that Senator Skinner of the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee has said that they don't know and can't tell us just how much this bill will actually cost the public schools' budgets. How can they be fiscally responsible and support this?
Below are your Tuesday Tattler "10" to contact immediately!

Here is a list of some specific Senators to contact, along with reasons and rationale for making contact. Please make as many contacts as possible over the next few hours. It is vital that ALL senators hear the reasons why this bill is one of the most detrimental to PUBLIC education to come from the house so far. 
1.) Senator Mishler (R) of District 9 (Marshall County and Kosciusko County) said that , although he agrees with "choice" he has some major reservations. He is in the area near Warsaw and in his area there are almost no schools that one can use vouchers for! If you know anyone in that area, please let them know that they need to contact him and let him know that they, too, have deep concerns. For most of these waffling Republicans, my understanding is that they are worried about the cost. During the Tax and Fiscal Policy committee, Mishler said he "reserves the right to vote against it on the floor. " Let's all encourage him to vote NO and let him know that this bleeding of funds will hurt the public schools in his district. His email is: s9@iga.in.gov.

2.) Senator Zakas  (
District 11) was first elected in 1982 and he may be a key vote. He is a Catholic and is probably getting a lot of pressure from Catholic school parents and schools. If you are Catholic or you know some Catholic school parents who don't believe in de-funding public schools, please try to contact him. Or if you know anyone in that area, of course. His email is : s11@iga.in.gov.

3.) Senator Landske  (District 6) She was originally sworn into the Senate in 1984. ( Lake County, Newton County, and Benton County area).  Senator Landske has fiscal concerns about this bill and needs to hear from as many constituents as possible asking her to be fiscally responsible and VOTE NO.  Tell Sue that 1003 is bad for her community! Tri-Creek and other schools will only suffer from voucher expansion!!! Her email is s6@iga.in.gov

4.) Senator Charbonneau (
District 5) (Valpo and Rensselear area) has shown that he has serious reservations about the A-F grading system of our schools. Now the HB1003 includes an amendment that would allow anyone in an "F" school district to take a voucher. A Kindergartner within an "A" elementary school district but that also has an "F" high school, could go straight to a private one. Let's encourage him to see the misuse of this grading system in this bill and, of course, the financial ramifications of these millions of dollars leaving our public school budget. Let's Remind Ed what he said at the Legislative Breakfast about 1003/vouchers being an Indianapolis issue, not Northwest Indiana. Tell him we expect him to vote with Northwest Indiana, not be complacent with the party line! His email is s5@iga.in.gov

5.) Senator Kenley (
District 20, Hamilton County) had been wonderful at arguing against expanding these vouchers. His concerns are financial, but he also pointed out that they are doing a bait and switch type of thing by allowing wealthier families to receive these vouchers as well as not requiring so many kids to try the public schools first. He needs to be thanked for this and encouraged to vote against the bill. He has suggested that we have a study first to see how the vouchers are working for kids. Please encourage him to push for that before we expand the program. He also seems to be very concerned with the way special education will be hurt by this bill (see Vic's notes). His email is s20@iga.in.gov

6.) Senator Steele (
District 44, Bedford, Columbus, Nashville area: Brown Co., Lawrence Co, Jackson Co. and some Monroe Co.) was concerned during the first voucher bill with accountability of the private schools. He added an amendment that was about something like civics and morals being taught in those voucher schools requiring some accountability. That provision for accountability was promptly tossed aside by Tony Bennett and crew. They only have to observe 5% (13 total) schools and have a very vague review of what goes on. Accountability as well as financial cost might be a good argument for him. Please let your friends know. Here's his email: s44@iga.in.gov

7.) Senator Bray, freshman senator whose family background does not support public education or fiscal education funding. District 37 (Morgan County and some Putnam. Martinsville) email: s37@iga.in.gov
8.) Senator Crider, like Bray, is new to the senate (so they didn't vote for vouchers in 2011) He is District 28. (Greenfield). Email s28@iga.in.gov
9. ) Senator Waltz, District 36 (Marion County and Norther Johnson County) In the Senate since 2004, he has an investment banking company, The Baron Group, Inc., which specializes in mergers, acquisitions, and capitalization of small to mid size private companies in the transportation and manufacturing industries.  This financial background should make him aware of the fiscal irresponsibility of VOUCHERS. His email is s36@iga.in.gov

10.) Senator Leising, District 42 (Rushville, Connersville) a member of the Education and Career Development committee, she should most definitely be aware of the destructive nature of this fiscally irresponsible legislation. s42@iga.in.gov

These senators should also hear from you with the financial concerns:

Senator Alting, District 22. See map His email is s22@iga.in.gov

Senator Becker, District 50 (Evansville area). Her email is s50@iga.in.gov

Senator Boots , District 23 ( Crawfordsville and Lebanon area). His email s23@iga.in.gov

Senator Head, District 18 His email s18@iga.in.gov

Senator Paul, District 27 (Richmond area) His email is s27@iga.in.gov

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